By Anadolu Staff
ANKARA (AA) – China on Friday called on Guatemala, the only country in Central America without diplomatic relations with Beijing, to make the "right choice" by shifting formal ties.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning made the remarks during a regular press briefing ahead of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's visit to Guatemala, where she is scheduled to arrive on Friday afternoon.
Guatemala is one of 13 countries with diplomatic relations with Taiwan, including 12 UN members.
"We hope Guatemala will see the trend of the world and make the right choice as early as possible," Mao said in response to a question about the only Central American country that does not have formal diplomatic relations with China.
According to a transcript of her news conference posted on the Foreign Ministry's website, she said 182 countries have established diplomatic relations with Beijing, showing that the “one-China principle is a universally recognized principle that represents the people's aspiration and the trend of the world, and no force can block that trend."
"The separatist pursuit of 'Taiwan independence' is against the will and interests of the Chinese nation and against the trend of history. It will not lead anywhere," she said.
Taiwan President Tsai spent the last two days in the US, visiting the Hudson Institute in New York and receiving the Global Leadership Award for her efforts to strengthen the two countries relationship.
She shared an image of herself on Twitter accepting the award, as well as information about her meeting with the Taiwanese community in the US.
- China on Trans-Pacific Partnership
While commenting on the UK's decision to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao said Beijing is an advocate for trade liberalization.
Earlier on Friday, the bloc agreed to include the UK as a new member, but the formal announcement is expected to be made at the CPTTP’s regular ministerial meeting scheduled for July.
"The CPTPP is an important free trade agreement in the region. In September 2021, China officially applied to join the CPTPP. We are in contact, communication, and consultation with all CPTPP members. Joining the CPTPP will help us further deepen reform in China and open up wider to the world," she said.
China and Taiwan both have applied for membership in the bloc. However, Mao said Beijing is firmly opposed to the Taiwan region joining any agreement or organization.
"As to the Taiwan region’s accession to the CPTPP, our position is very clear. There is only one China in the world, and the Taiwan region is an inalienable part of China," she said.
"The one-China principle is a universally recognized norm in international relations and a prevailing consensus among the international community. We firmly oppose any official interaction between countries and the Taiwan region and firmly oppose the Taiwan region’s accession to any agreement or organization of official nature," she added.
*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid